Syracuse Half Marathon

Saturday evening Jordan and I drove out to Syracuse for the Syracuse Half Marathon! I signed up for this race ages ago and got a hotel .5 miles from the start of the race in downtown, Syracuse. We checked into our hotel and then immediately went searching for some good eats. Around the corner we found a little place called Modern Malt.

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They had a small late-night menu and I went with the egg and cheese sandwich because it seemed harmless for a pre-race dinner. Thankfully it was a great decision and it was delicious.

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Both of our meals (Jordan got a burger) came with tater tots! I got sweet potato and he got regular. I liked the regular better, actually! They were delicious.

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After our late dinner we headed next door to a place called Al’s Whiskey & Wine Bar. Normally I don’t stay out too late the night before a race, but we just had to check out these cools spots so close to our hotel. I just made sure to hydrate well with plenty of water!

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There were many spirits to choose from. Overall it seemed like a really cool place to hang and grab a drink.

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The race was starting at 8AM the next morning and the starting line/finish area was a short walk from our hotel. We left at around 7:30 and walked in the freezing cold. The high was supposed to be 18 degrees so it was pretty cold at 7:30am–I actually didn’t even look at the temp because I didn’t want to get discouraged. I think it was the coldest I’ve run in all season, which is funny because now it is actually Spring. At the start I met up with my friends Val and Jona who were also running! Jona and I decided to try to run some of the race together.

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Yes, it was cold.

 

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This was Jordan’s first time spectating a race. He was awesome for standing out there despite the freezing temps! :-)

I had no goals for this race. I was just planning on using it as training run. But Jordan asked me what my best possible finish time would be and I told him 2:10, and that was if the run was going fantastic. I told him I doubt I would run that fast. So during the race I decided not to look at my pace at all and just run by feel. Turns out that was an really good decision!

Race Stats

SYR stats

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I lost Jona during the first big hill at around mile 2. She told me there were hills on the course but I really didn’t pay any mind–I didn’t even look at the course elevation in fear that the hills were going suck, sometimes I think its better when I don’t know what’s coming. Surprisingly they didn’t kill me and I felt really great during the race. The only time I walked was to eat Gu and drink water. I ate two–one at mile 2 because my stomach was growling, and one later around mile 8.

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My pace stayed under a 10 minute mile until Mile 10. Darn! But there was even an 8:52 mile thrown in there which I still can’t even believe I did.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this race! I finished in 2:09:47, for an average of 9:54 per mile. I am very happy with that for a tough course!

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The race medal was awesome too.

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The post-race party was located inside at the Oncenter. This was really nice because it was extremely cold out! If it were outside, everyone would have frozen! They had a lot of tables for people to sit at and eat their post-race snacks. I grabbed a chocolate milk and a yogurt to refuel with. They get an A for post-race party. And the race itself was extremely organized, overall I was extremely impressed!

Our hotel had a late checkout, so I got to go back and shower before heading to brunch. Jordan and I drove over to Lemoyne College to pick up my cousin and the three of us met Val at Funk n’ Waffles on the Syracuse University campus! This place was on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, so we knew it had to be decent!

I went with the waffle with eggs and bacon, and it was delicious. It hit the spot after the half marathon! Very tasty when paired with a Magic Hat #9. ;-)

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And that concluded my first half marathon of 2015!

New Adventure: Winterbike 2015

At the end of February, Jordan invited me to go to Vermont with him and a few of his friends for Winterbike.

I didn’t know mountain biking on snowy trails in the winter was a thing until I met Jordan. He has his own fat bike and it’s pretty awesome. Fat bikes have huge tires that are bigger than your average mountain bike’s and they are meant for riding over any terrain.

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Since I don’t have a fat bike, Jordan rented me one from the local bike shop up in East Burke.

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The festival was held at Kingdom Trails, a nordic adventure center that has groomed winter biking trails. It was gorgeous!

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We rode on the trails for a couple hours and I crashed a lot! But when I crashed I just fell into the deep snow banks, so I didn’t get hurt. It was fun!

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Jordan is pretty much a pro at fat biking. ;-)

When we were done riding, we went to get out free beer that was included with the Winterbike ticket.

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Fat bikers sure do love their beer (as do runners!) It was so weird to be surrounded by so many of them. It was kind of like the same feeling of community I get after a race, surrounded by runners. Our tickets also included a lunch at a local restaurant,  after we ate I had to bring back the bike rental to the bike shop. Sad!

We all stayed at the WilloBurke Inn & Lodge, a few minutes away from Kingdom Trails. It was such a cute place to stay. The rooms were nice and clean, and the lobby was cozy (fireplace!). The view from our room was pretty sweet, too. They also included breakfast the next morning.

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We hung out around the inn until dinnertime. We went to a restaurant called Tamarack Grill located right at the Burke Mountain ski resort. The food was tasty but unfortunately I don’t have any pictures.

It was an awesome winter getaway to Vermont! And I got to try something new, which is always good. The weekend was perfect and I can’t wait to go on more adventures like it!

Snowshoeing at the Saratoga National Historical Park

Yesterday’s high was 30 degrees and the sun was out, it was downright balmy. Of course I had to spend the majority of the beautiful day outdoors. :-) Jordan and I were originally going to hike in the Adirondacks, but after getting a late start we decided to keep things a little more local and check out the trails at the Saratoga National Historical Park. Jordan rides his road bike here in the summer, but I had never been, so I was excited!

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We decided on a 4.2 mile loop called the Wilkinsin Trail.

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What an amazing day for snowshoeing. When we finished the loop (it took about 2 hours) we hiked a few more miles around the park –it was still too nice out to go home!

I’m anxious to check out this park during the warmer months. It seems like it would be pretty great for trail running.

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Snowshoeing Adventures: Hadley Mountain Firetower and Petersburgh Pass

Last week after a few big snow storms, I took the new boyfriend Jordan for his first snowshoe hike. He recently got a pair of snowshoes and was anxious to try them out. I decided on Hadley Mountain because it’s pretty close to Albany and it’s a short hike with some awesome views. It was a gorgeous day for a snowshoe hike!

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The trek up was a little tough because the hikers before us had left a trail, but weren’t wearing snowshoes. It was kind of a pain. This is one of my pet peeves about winter hiking. When there is two feet of snow on the ground, you wear snowshoes!

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In a couple hours we reached the summit!

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We climbed the firetower to get some good views, too.

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The hike down was a breeze because the trail was nice and packed. This was my second time hiking this mountain. It was one of my very first ADK hikes back in 2009.

Hadley Mountain
Elevation: 2,654′
Total distance RT: 3.6 miles

Sunday was very cold, but it was a sunny day, so I decided to tag along with Jordan and his friend on an adventure. They wanted to snowshoe up to Petersburg Pass, an old ski area in the Taconics on the NY/MA border not that far from Troy.

We bundled up for the short hike. It was getting close to zero degrees, with a windchill that was probably below that.

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We were only on the trail for a few hours. It was so cold! But we just couldn’t resist getting out on a sunny day despite the frigid temps! When you have the proper warm clothing, it makes going outside a lot more enjoyable.

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Snowshoeing at Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve

Saturday afternoon Meredith, Jenna and I went on a local snowshoe excursion at the Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve in Clifton Park. The previous week dumped a ton of snow on the Capital Region. I had been waiting for that just so I could get out my snowshoes. Saturday was another snowy day, but the temps were warmer (in the 30s, I think!) so it was perfect for getting outside and enjoying the trails.

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There is a trail that runs along the Mohawk, directly across from my favorite running route, the Niskayuna bike path. It was cool to see the river from a different perspective! The river was completely frozen over and we hiked right on it. Pretty awesome.

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We hiked for about an hour and 20 minutes, estimating we went about 3 miles.

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